Imagine with me, if you will, that we live in a day where we intentionally sever a man’s arm from his body and then expect him to win a fight, where we pluck a woman’s eyes from her head and then ask her to paint her own portrait, where we surgically remove a child’s frontal lobe and demand that she explain an algebraic formula. Imagine that we live in a world where, as C.S. Lewis warned, the elite among us actually claim it makes sense to geld the stallion and then “bid him be fruitful.” Imagine that we live in a time and place where the wise and learned in our courts and our classrooms and our churches actually work to remove a man’s soul and then expect him to stay out of hell.
Such a day is upon us…
Bad ideas will breed bad behavior as surely as an acorn will grow an oak or a hurricane will bring a flood. Why would we expect decades of teaching sexual promiscuity in our schools to result in sexual restraint in our students. Why are we surprised at the selfishness of our culture when we have immersed several generations of our children in a curriculum that teaches self-esteem more effectively than it does science and civics? How can we possibly think that teaching values clarification rather than moral absolutes will raise up a virtuous people? Where in the annals of history is there any evidence that the subordination of one person’s right to live to another person’s right to choose ever resulted in the protection of every person’s unalienable right to life? And why would any culture ever think that after decades of diminishing the value of marital fidelity that the same culture would then be able to mount a vigorous defense for the meaning of marriage?
This list could go on and on. The evidence is clear: All we need to do is turn on the nightly news to see the proof. When we separate fact from faith and head from heart, and when we sever belief from behavior and religion from reason, we do not usher in a day of liberty but one of licentiousness.
Today contemporary education has become more about the common than the exceptional. It has become more interested in teaching the student how to get a career and use a condom than how to build character and follow Christ. It’s about acquiring more information rather than more ethics. Education has lost its way and consequently our culture and our country has lost its soul and lost its sense.
Richard Weaver told us that ideas have consequences. Hitler said, “let me control the textbooks and I will control the State.” Huxley and Orwell warned of dystopias where education would be used as a means to total power and total control. Ideas do matter. Yes, ideas clearly have consequences. Good ideas lead to places that are good. Bad ideas lead to places that are bad. As your grandmother said: Garbage in garbage out. She was right! Indeed, education matters!
Today the educational establishment is known not for pursuing truth but rather for its celebration of tolerance and in the name of tolerances we are told that our intolerance is intolerable. I am serious. These elites actually say things such as, “I can’t tolerate your intolerance.” “I am sure nothing is sure.” “I know nothing can be known.” “It is absolutely true that there are not absolutes.” It is as if we are watching a dog chase its tail. It would be humorous if it weren’t so sad. Perhaps the best summary is to simply say:
“Hash tag, #CanYouSpellSelfRefutingDuplicity” !
The result of this nonsense is that the rainbow banner tolerance has become a dark flag of tyranny almost overnight. What was academic freedom just yesterday is ideological fascism today. Rather than celebrating liberty, liberals now demand conformity. We are told, “You must be one of us!” “You must think like we do!” We see the elevation of speech codes rather than free speech. Our leaders are more interested in Trigger Warnings than we are in pursuing truth. Disagreement is now synonymous with hate. Sexual inclinations are now the same as sexual identity. If someone thinks they are right, they are wrong and, yes, you are right for telling them that they are wrong for thinking they’re right! Submit or be silenced. As Ben Stein told us; there is “no intelligence is allowed.” If you dare to challenge the party line or the politically correct you will be “expelled.”
A few examples of today’s ideological tyranny masquerading as tolerance are as follows.
Gordon College was challenged in 2015 with the loss of accreditation because its president simply reiterated President Obama’s 2008 and 2012 position on marriage — That it [i.e. marriage] is defined as a monogamous union of a male and female.
Oklahoma Wesleyan University was required, in 2014 by the Department of Education, to file for an exemption to Title IX’s new requirement to permit young men who say they are young women to live in women’s dorms.
Oklahoma Wesleyan has been required to file a law suit against the Federal government to be exempted from paying for abortifacient drugs for it’s employees.
Professor Mike Adams had to sue the University of North Carolina for denying him tenure because of his conversion from atheism to Christianity and his newfound Biblical worldview.
Guillermo Gonzalez was denied tenure at the Iowa State University because he dared to suggest what Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, Benjamin Franklin and a host of all others affirmed: That the design of nature logically implies a Designer, i.e. that the laws of nature seem to logically infer a Nature’s God.
Wendy Kaniner at Smith College (ACLU former board member and feminist) labeled a racist for defending free speech
Jonathan Lopez, (a Los Angeles City College student) was refused a grade and called a “fascist bastard” by his professor because he (Mr. Lopez) cited the dictionary definition marriage in a classroom discussion.
Julea Ward, a graduate student at Eastern Michigan University, was removed from her academic program because she dare to stand by her Christian beliefs concerning sexual morality.
Crystal Dixon, a former administrator at the University of Toledo (a black woman) was fired for saying that she was offended with the conflation of her race with someone else’s volitional sexual choices.
And just this month: the Exchange between Supreme Court justice Samuel Alito with the Obama administration’s solicitor general Donald Verrilli where Verrilli admitted that tax-exempt status will likely be lost for Christian colleges and universities that refuse to hire active homosexuals.
I could go on and on. The list is nearly endless.
And yet, in the midst of such overwhelming evidence, talking heads in the media such as John Stossel on the O’Reilly Factor recently said there “is no war against Christians!” I was frankly stunned. For anyone to claim that there is no ideological war in the academy is either incredibly ignorant or evidence of complete denial. You can disagree with our positions. You can ridicule our faith. You can call us stupid and challenge our scholarship. You can claim we are clinging to our God and our guns. But to deny that Christians are presently being told to shut up and sit in the back of the bus is either ill informed or frankly just bold-faced intolerance.
And a side bar: Silence is not golden. It is often cowardly or even a sign of contempt. Where is our president in the midst of this? Where is the leader of the FREE world? Christians are losing their jobs, losing their businesses, losing their tenure, losing their education and losing their freedom and he says nothing. He lectures us about the crusades rather than defends us in the courts. He’s an apologist for Saul Alinski while he apologizes for Saul of Tarsus. Christians are being enslaved, burned alive, and beheaded across the Middle East and he is silent. Christians are being threatened, intimidated, sued, and sequestered in the middle of America and mum’s the word. Mr. President, please remember the words of Bonhoeffer: “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act!”
“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act!” – Bonhoeffer
The bottom line is this: Education is in peril. Run by the State and its thought police colleges across the land have become indoctrination camps more so than campuses of open inquiry. Propaganda and power now reign where there used to be a pursuit of truth.
Howard Dean recently questioned Scott Walker’s qualifications to be president because he doesn’t have a college degree. Here is what he said on Feb. 12, 2015 on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program. “Were (Walker) to become president, (he) would be the first … in many generations that did not have a college degree … the issue is how well-educated is this guy? And that’s a problem.”
Well, for the sake of argument, let’s admit that Howard Dean’s premise has some merit. Let’s assume he’s right: that one’s education does matter and that, as Richard Weaver wrote in 1948 (ironically the same year of Mr. Dean’s birth), ideas do have consequences; that it all starts with education; that good ideas lead to good beliefs, good behavior, good culture and good government; and that bad ideas lead to bad beliefs, bad behavior, bad culture and bad government. Let’s assume that education does have a consequence and a predictable outcome. And let’s also assume, that if so, we would be wise to take a look at the ideas colleges have taught for the 67 years since Mr. Dean’s birthday and Weaver’s seminal publication and ask ourselves this question: What have the ideas we’ve taught for the past seven decades actually wrought in our kids, our culture, and our country?
For example, Mr. Dean, for 67 years we have disparaged “dead white European males” in our college classrooms. Are we surprised that we now have a president whose first action was to remove the bust of Winston Churchill from the White House and send it back to British consulate?
For 67 years we’ve sent our kids off to sit under the tutelage of faculty who have panned a Judeo-Christian ethic and praised its antithesis. Are we surprised we now have a White House that is seemingly more aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood than with Benjamin Netanyahu or Franklin Graham?
For 67 years we’ve taught our next generation “it doesn’t matter what you believe as long as it works for you.” Are we surprised that we now see a total lack of moral clarity in our national leaders and that these people who were taught to despise the Church and its standards now behave like cads, cheats, frauds, and fakes?
For 67 years we’ve told our youth that there is a “moral equivalency” between America and its enemies and implied that our nation is bad and the rest of the world is right to hate us.
For 67 years we have instructed our students to laugh at “right wingers” who warned of Communism and government largesse.
For 67 years college professors have said that Marxism has its merits and that liberation theology is the only “good religion.” For 67 years we’ve inculcated the idea that socialism is better than free enterprise. For 67 years we have fomented class resentment, racism and entitlement. For 67 years professors have preached that pastors and priests are stupid. For 67 years we’ve taught that capitalism is the cause of crime. For 67 years we have fed our kids a diet of moral nihilism (known as sex education). For 67 years we’ve instructed our boys and girls to use a condom rather than obey God’s Commandments.
Why are we surprised in what we see on today’s nightly news? Our judges can’t find the word “marriage” in the dictionary. Our state department thinks the way to stop terrorists is to give them jobs. Our president says he appreciates the “legitimate grievances” of the terrorists who are crucifying children.
Why are we surprised to see tens of millions of women buying the lie of 50 Shades of Grey – of pornography and the objectification of the female body – when colleges have been promoting “sex weeks” on campuses across the land and teaching these same women the virtues of sadomasochism, bondage, and dominance for the past several decades?
Yes, Mr. Dean, education, as you say, is “a problem.” Ideas do have consequences and the lousy ideas we have been teaching in our colleges and universities for the past several decades are bearing themselves out daily before our eyes. But with all due respect sir, I would rather have a president who hasn’t been indoctrinated by the vacuous nonsense than one who has. I would rather have a president with no degree who knows he’s not God than one with a degree who thinks he is.
There is only one solution to this absurdity. It is the worldview of the historical liberal arts academy; of classical “liberalism” and its assumption of freedom, liberty, and liberation. It is the foundational assumption of the Bible. It is the belief that the words of Jesus are right and just and true and that only in trusting in such Truth will mankind ever be set free.
Education is not about opinions. I don’t pat you on the back when you graduate from OKWU and say, “Congratulations! You now have a degree in opinions!” That would be absurd. I frankly don’t care what your opinion is and you shouldn’t care that much about mine. Opinions are always dangerous. Opinions always lead to slavery and bondage. Pol Pot had an opinion. Robespierre had an opinion. Lenin, Moa, Mussolini, Hitler, Chavez, and Castro – all the despots of history – had opinions and it didn’t end well. Freedom trusts in First Principles rather than people, power, politics or opinions. Freedom honors the debate because it knows there is an Answer.
Freedom trusts in First Principles rather than people, power, politics or opinions. Freedom honors the debate because it knows there is an Answer.
As, G.K. Chesterton told us, if you get rid of the big Laws, you don’t get liberty but rather thousands and thousands of little laws. Without Law you have no liberty. Without respecting Law it is impossible to be a self-respecting “liberal.”
Freedom – true and lasting freedom – is not found in the hubris of man but rather in words of Christ: “You shall know the Truth and the Truth shall set you free.”